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Tattoos


Yan Meijiu
Translated from Chinese by Ou Shilin

When that night reappears, I shall lower my head
for shame. Well ingrained are these morbid tattoos;
by no means unknown is the source of each pain.
Originated out of low techniques, it is nothing
more than a shark's teeth dipped in living sewage,
and struck repeatedly with a hammer
to embed into my body.
I even fall in love with such dismal and melancholy,
such beauty of violence.
Be gentle to undress me, darling! Please, no blindfold or tears.
How much better to have my temperature,
my wrinkles and the collapsed breast still living faithfully
on this blue river.

About the author:

Yan Meijiu is the author the poetry collection Selected Poems of Yu Shang Yan. Her works appear in many major Chinese literature magazines and anthologies, People's Literature, Poetry Periodical, October, Zhongshan, Changjiang Literature, etc. Yan is the winner of a number of poetry prizes.







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